Everyone is going to die.
That was my first thought upon the conclusion of "Everybody Loves Hugo", as Hurley's Sideways world, his memory-laden reunion with Libby, and a few words from Michael got me thinking about where everything is going.
What is the Sideways universe? How do the castaways get there? What happens if they fail to do so? A lot is still unclear, but this much is not: it's where every character needs to end up.
At some point, these two worlds will collide, as Sideways Desmond (and maybe Island Desmond?) is on a mission to make everyone aware that all is not right is their seemingly happy lives. It's been assumed that when these consciusnesses/memories are awoken, souls/minds will eventually migrate to the Island World. That's where we've been residing for five seasons, after all, right?
But listen to what Michael said: the whispers emanate from those whose actions on the island make it impossible for them to "move on." That doesn't make it sound like the island is anyone's ideal, final destination, does it? As discussed in last week's review, the Sideways world is one full of material rewards, but lacking in love. As Desmond sets out to push everyone toward the visions he and Charlie have seen (yet leave all actions up to them, of course. Free will, at all times, brothers.), it's impossible not think about the end game.
This may involve a choice. If you've learned from your past, you'll be able to transfer those lessons to the Sideways world, where you already have everything you ever wanted... except for love. Consider the Island the place where the castaways discovered how to love and how to let go. Therefore, when they make the Sideways transition, they truly will have it all. How will they get there, however? They're gonna have to die. Like the actual Locke preached for so long, they're gonna have to possess faith in the island's power.
The trials we've seen these characters go through, and the evolution they've undertaken (Jack has to forget the past and let others lead? Who ever expected to hear those words from the doctor's mouth?!?), will lead to some sort of rebirth in the Sideways universe. If they've failed to evolve? Sorry, Michael, Mr. Eko and all others that whisper: you can't move on.
Broad theories aside, there was a lot to like about this episode itself. For starters, let's give props to Jorge Garcia. The character of Hurley has been used for comic relief more than any other over the course of the show, but Garcia clearly has range.
Did you catch how he bristled when telling Ilana that Libby was "murdered?" After all this time, there's still pent up rage and emotion over this character's demise (feelings shared by many viewers who believe Libby was killed off too soon). Such feelings made Hurley's scenes with Michael even more memorable.
He's the guy who actually did the murdering, of course, which also lent gravity to the revelation that the whispers are the voices of stuck souls. Is that really a shocking resolution to this mystery? No. But the magic of Lost is how it was tied to characters we've known and to whom we've grown close. It was a great moment when Michael told Hurley to apologize to Libby for him.
This was also an intriguing request because it makes it apparent that Michael knows there's the potential to "move on." Is he aware of the Sideways world? Does he know where he'd have gone to if his actions had been different?RIP, Ilana, meanwhile. Following in the blown-up footsteps of Arnzt, she either left us too soon or never should have been around in the first place. It seems unlikely we'll ever learn more about her, which leaves Ilana's only purpose to have told the castaways they were "candidates."
Couldn't we have gotten that information in another way, from another source? Seems like a waste of a character. It did lead to Ben's interesting, foreboding point, though: Ilana did her job and the island was finished with her. Goodbye! What does this portend for others?
Which brings us to Desmond and FakeLocke. Last episode, Widmore was certain that the island "isn't done" with Desmond yet, so it's safe to assume he didn't die when FakeLocke pushed him down the well. What a great scene that was, huh? Terry O'Quinn portrayed the Man in Black as utterly fascinated and confused by Desmond. Why wasn't he scared? What was he so relaxed? In this way, MIB actually served to relay the reaction of fans.
What, exactly, is going on with Island Desmond?
Did he awaken from his shack experiment, fully aware of this Sideways world? Or does he simply have a general feeling of purpose on the island now? It's unclear, but this is our guess: he knows everything. He experienced every second of his flash sideways last week and those memories have been transferred to his island self. Desmond's mission, therefore, is the same in both universes: raise everyone's consciousness and bring the worlds together.
Where does running over Sideways Locke fit into this? He wasn't trying to kill Locke. He was pulling a page from Sideways Charlie. Via a near-death experience, Locke must have visions of his Island world. I don't know why. I don't know what he'll see there, as - unlike Charlie and unlike Hurley - he didn't have a true love on the island. Locke's true love is actually waiting at his Sideways home for him.
All I know is that the theme of free will remains constant in Desmond's Sideways actions. He's like Jacob, pushing castways toward a life he wants for them, but not taking any drastic, forceful measures. Like murder.
A couple quick questions/points before turning this over to readers:
- We still have no idea why Libby was in a mental hospital.
- Shame on you, Miles! How dare you turn your back on your fellow speaker to the dead!
- How did you understand Jack and FakeLocke's opposing reactions to seeing one another? The former looked frightened, the latter satisfied and confidant.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE EPISODE?